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Curated research library of TV news clips regarding the NSA, its oversight and privacy issues, 2009-2014

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Primary curation & research: Robin Chin, Internet Archive TV News Researcher; using TV News Archive service.

Speakers

Ron Wyden
U.S. Senator (D-Oregon), Member of Select Committee on Intelligence
CSPAN2 06/05/2014
Wyden: talking about the fact that the House bill does not ban warrantless searches for American’s e-mail, and here particularly I want to get into this with you, Mr. Lodgett, if I might. We’re talking of course about the backdoor search loopholes, section 702 of the FISA statute. This allows NSA in effect to look through this giant pile of communications that are collected under 702 and deliberately conduct warrantless searches for the communications of individual Americans. This loophole was closed during the Bush Administration but it was reopened in 2011, and a few months ago the Director of National Intelligence acknowledged in a letter to me that the searches are ongoing today. I am particularly concerned about it.
Ron Wyden
U.S. Senator (D-Oregon), Member of Select Committee on Intelligence
CSPAN2 06/05/2014
Wyden: I am particularly concerned about it because as global communications get increasingly interconnected, this loophole is going to grow and grow and grow as a threat to the privacy of law-abiding Americans. So for purposes of getting on top of this and working with all of you, my question today is how many of these warrantless searches for Americans communications have been conducted under section 702? For you, Mr. Lodgett.
Richard Lodgett
National Security Agency Deputy Director
CSPAN2 06/05/2014
Lodgett: We have provided as you know detailed information to the committee on the background on this, and we will work with the DNI and the rest of the IC to provide additional information to you. Wyden: So when would I get an answer to the question. It's a very specific question. The Director admitted to me in a letter that these warrantless searches are taking place and I’m going the next and saying how many of them? When will I get a letter telling me how many of them have taken place? I’d like to within two weeks because it is obviously relevant to making this part of the Senate bill because it was be omitted in the House. Lodgett: Yes, sir. Wyden: Can we have it within two weeks? Lodgett: We will work on that, sir. We’ll get you a response within two weeks. Wyden: Thank you. Making some progress.
Mark Udall
Senator (D-Colorado) Member of Select Committee on Intelligence
CSPAN2 06/05/2014
Udall: I agree that we must depend on the law to constrain potential future abuses of government surveillance, but I believe the House passed bill, the topic of our hearing today, falls short of this goal and is not the true reform I demanded and many other Americans have for years. In addition to my concerns that the House passed bill omits many of the surveillance reforms included in the original U.S.A. Freedom Act, the section 215 language in the House passed bill describing the specific selection term used to secretly collect records is vague enough to still allow the collection of mass information. I believe it is not this Administration's intent to interpret the language so broadly, by the NSA has shown time and time again it will seize on any wiggle room in the law and there's plenty of that in this bill.
Mark Udall
Senator (D-Colorado) Member of Select Committee on Intelligence
CSPAN2 06/05/2014
Udall: So Mr. Cole, let me ask you, even if it is not the intent of this administration or even of this Congress, what would stop the FISA court from interpreting the specific selection term very broadly should the government asked it to do so? Cole: I think a lot of what would prohibit that is the legislative history, the statements of intent, the legislative history that we’re creating here today by making clear and unambiguous statements that isn't intended to stop bulk collection and that what we are focusing on is some focused, tailored inquiries that will depend on the facts and circumstances and it's impossible to predict all of them ahead of time. But to make sure that we do have focused inquiries and focused collection of information for our investigations.
James Cole
Deputy US Attorney General
CSPAN2 06/05/2014
Cole: If there’s improvements that people want to suggest we’re happy to work with them on them but we think the language does it by using terms like specific and identifiers and things of that nature to make it not the indiscriminate bulk collection that have been going on before. And I think also just the reports that have come out of the House, the statements that are being made both by you Senators in the course of your comments and by the witnesses that come before you as making up the legislative history. Those would constrain it.
Mark Udall
Senator (D-Colorado) Member of Select Committee on Intelligence
CSPAN2 06/05/2014
Cole: I think in addition if there were an interpretation by the FISA court that it is very broad, that would be a novel and significant order and opinion and would be given to the United States Congress, given to the Senate, and the Senate would then have an opportunity to pass additional legislation to rein it back in. But I would be very, very surprised to see it go in that direction based on the language that's here and the legislative history. Udall: We do have a moment in time where we have to get this right, and with all due respect I don't remember the FISA court showing a great deal of restraint in the past.
Mark Matthews
Political Reporter for NBC Bay Area News
KNTV 06/06/2014
Aguirre: The NSA won a skirmish today in the legal battle over government surveillance. San Francisco’s Electronic Frontier Foundation lost it’s bid to prevent the government from destroying e-mails it’s accused of gathering from millions of Americans. NBC Bay Area’s Mark Matthews is live with why the NSA is claiming victory tonight. Matthews: At least for the short term. This case dates back eight years, back to a time when a technician at an AT&T building in San Francisco reported what he said was massive government spying on Americans' internet and e-mail communications. Mark Klein said it was happening inside this AT&T building on Folsom. He said it was happening in room 641 A, reporting that the phone company had installed a splitter on their internet cables routing everything into a bank of NSA computers.
Mark Matthews
Political reporter for NBC Bay Area News
KNTV 06/06/2014
Matthews: The Electronic Frontier Foundation or EFF is suing claiming the mass surveillance of Americans is unconstitutional. They asked Judge Jeffrey White to prevent them from destroying the evidence of that collection. Lawyers for the government speaking by phone in Washington, D.C. argued the NSA material needs to be deleted because there's simply too much of it. And keeping it could imperil the program and damage national security. Today Judge Jeffrey White sided with the government saying he didn't have enough information to overrule the national security concerns. Cohn: The judge said he didn't have enough information to make a decision. This was an emergency motion. We brought it yesterday. Matthews: The lead lawyer for EFF said both sides will file briefs and get a hearing later this summer. Cohn: So yes, he did rule for the government here, but in a very short term way.
Mark Matthews
Political Reporter for NBC Bay Area News
KNTV 06/06/2014
Matthews: For Mark Klein, the technician who originally blew the whistle back in 2006, the government playing the national security trump card is something he's come to expect. Klein: But we know now from what I've revealed and what Snowden revealed that they're collecting everybody's information, everybody. Matthews: Now as I said, lawyers for the government were reporting to the court by phone from Washington, D.C. they were unavailable to talk with us, Judge White is expected to set a hearing sometime late July or August.
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